Capital Rotary Welcomes Automotive Salesman

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Aug 032018
 

Isaac Burt, a member of the sales team at Columbia’s Godwin Motors, has joined Capital Rotary.  Burt (center in photo with club president Philip Flynn at right and sponsor Matthew Pollard) is a native of Portsmouth, NH.  He was a high school swimming, football and track and field athlete and a college swimmer and wrestler.  Burt majored in political science with a religion minor at Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC, where he also served as junior class president, student body president the following year and as a resident advisor for two years.  He was a Founders Scholarship recipient at the college.

Jul 112018
 

Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club is gearing up for the annual summer blood drive to be held Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Scheduled donations and walk-ins are welcome at the donation site – first floor conference room, CB Richard Ellis Building, 1333 Main St. in downtown Columbia.  The goal is 75 pints of blood, according to Red Cross staff member Libby Wright (at center in photo with president Philip Flynn and drive chairman Paul Gillam at left).  Wright said the club over the past nine years has collected 516 units of blood, helping to save the lives of more than 1,500 patients.  Because of high demand and lagging blood donations in summertime, Wright said the Red Cross is making an “emergency appeal” now for participation by prospective donors.

Vietnam War Tunnel Rats Crawled Into Danger

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Jun 272018
 

Crawling through Viet Cong tunnels during his Vietnam War service was always an exercise in potential danger, according to C.W. Bowman, Capital Rotary guest speaker for June 27 (at left in photo with club member Chris Myers).  Bowman – a draftee shipped overseas in January 1967 – was a point man, demolition-man and tunnel rat who cleared and destroyed underground complexes that could conceal hospitals, training areas, storage facilities, headquarters and barracks.  Bowman said the dirty duty’s hazards included not only booby traps and enemy troops, but also snakes, spiders, scorpions and ants.  Typically, he faced these dangers armed only with a flashlight and a .45 caliber pistol, plus a healthy dose of caution.  Bowman served two tours in Vietnam and earned a Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal, among other awards.  He later was a drill sergeant at Ft. Jackson.  A native of Bordentown, NJ, Bowman has lived in South Carolina since 1973.

A Capital Salute to Paul Harris Benefactors, Fellows

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Jun 212018
 

Columbia’s Capital Rotary has recognized 13 new Paul Harris Benefactors for making substantial contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s international humanitarian and educational programs.  Benefactors pledge to make a $1,000 Foundation donation through their wills or estate plans.  Those honored at the club’s June 20 assembly include (from left in Photo 1) Mike Montgomery, Felicia Maloney, Lee Ann Rice, Ben Carlton, Andy Markl, EJ Newby, Austin McVay, Allyson Way Hank, Perry Lancaster, Betsy Best, Abby Naas, Paul Gillam; (not pictured) Carol Caulk and Daniel Winders.  The club also recognized those named Paul Harris Fellows, signifying a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  They receive a special pin, a certificate and a medal to honor their donation.  The group included (from left in Photo 2) Walker Williams; Neda Beal – Paul Harris Fellow+4 (initial $1,000 gift plus four others of $1,000 each); EJ Newby – Paul Harris Fellow+1 (initial $1,000 gift plus another of $1,000); Austin McVay and Felicia Maloney; Frank Rutkowski – Paul Harris Fellow+1; Betsy Best; Stephen West – Paul Harris Fellow+1; and Alex Serkes (not pictured).

Jun 202018
 

Outgoing Capital Rotary Club president Blake DuBose presents the 2018 Rotarian of the Year plaque to public relations chair Pete Pillow (left) in recognition of his dedicated service and loyal devotion to the ideals of Rotary.  Pillow, a retired journalist and public information officer, joined Capital Rotary in 2006.  He’s been a Rotarian since 1980 and is a past president of clubs in Beaufort and East Spartanburg.  He’s also a past president of the SC Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association and a College of Charleston graduate.

Project Lifesaver Finds Lost Loved Ones

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Jun 132018
 

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s Project Lifesaver team aims to “bring loved ones home” safely when electronic tracking is needed to find at-risk wanderers – clients with Alzheimer’s, autism, Downs Syndrome or traumatic brain injury.  Deputy Amanda Jordan (shown at left in photo with Rotarian Daniel Moses) briefed Capital Rotary on June 13, noting that 44 local clients and their families are enrolled in the program founded in Virginia nearly 20 years ago.  Project Lifesaver began in Richland County in 2006 with only eight deputies and three clients.  Today 80 deputies are trained, certified specialists in locating missing persons via electronic searching – a process that usually takes less 30 minutes as compared to a normal physical search lasting up to nine hours and sometimes involving hundreds of officers and volunteers.  Jordan said Project Lifesaver is cost effective for law enforcement and provides better protection for lost individuals.  Richland County does not charge its residents or their at-risk loved ones for receiving a transmitter and joining the program.  Jordan, a University of South Carolina graduate, has served with the Sheriff’s Department for 14 years.  She coordinates Project Lifesaver for the State of South Carolina, where 18 counties have signed on.  There are 1,300 participating agencies across the US, Canada and Australia.  To date more than 3,400 client rescues have been reported.

Jun 132018
 

Paul Gillam (left in photo), a member of Capital Rotary’s scholarship selection committee, welcomes College of Charleston graduate Victoria Bailey to the June 13 weekly meeting.  Bailey, recipient of a four-year scholarship from the club, graduated from Dreher High in 2015 and majored in biology/molecular biology.  She plans to attend medical school and is eyeing a career as a surgeon, anesthesiologist or obstetrics/gynecology practitioner.  Capital Rotary has been supporting higher-education opportunities for local high school students for more than 20 years.  The club’s scholarships are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need.

A Capital Social at Historic Hangar

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Jun 072018
 

Capital Rotary held a club social event June 6 at the new Hunter-Gatherer brew pub located in Columbia’s historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport.  The steel and glass hangar was built in 1929 by the Curtiss-Wright Co., one of 30 or so located across the country.  It was dedicated as Columbia Municipal Airport in 1930.  In its brew pub configuration, the 13,000-square-foot hangar houses a 527-gallon brew house, a bottling and kegging line, a 1,200-square-foot tap room and a 1,000-square-foot event space, plus a pizza kitchen.  An outdoor rooftop Observation Deck seats 40-plus, with views of the airport and, through windows, down into the brewery.  Rotarians enjoying an evening of fellowship included (from left in photo) Philip Flynn, Ann Elliott and Jay von Kolnitz.

Rotary Schooled on Blockchain Technology

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May 302018
 

Blockchain – the technology behind Bitcoin – has potential uses far beyond digital currencies.  That’s what Capital Rotarians heard from May 30 guest speaker Dr. Dirk Brown, shown with club member Walker Williams (left in photo).  Brown is faculty director of the University of South Carolina’s McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise.  He has extensive experience in digital media and electronic technologies, operations and marketing.  Brown said that currently, most people use a trusted middleman such as a bank to make a transaction.  But blockchain allows consumers and suppliers to connect directly, removing the need for third party validation.  Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a giant spreadsheet or “digital ledger” of transactions that everyone on the network can see.  This network is essentially a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded.  Brown said blockchain technology can work for almost every type of transaction involving value, including money, goods and property.  Its potential uses are almost limitless, and blockchain could also help reduce fraud because every transaction would be recorded and distributed on a public ledger.  It’s also virtually impossible to hack.  “We now have a secure way to make value exchanges with strangers without a central authority,” Brown explained.  “The future is here for blockchain and cryptocurrency, but most of us are just now realizing it.”  Brown has a bachelor of science from Queens University in Canada, with post-graduate degrees from San Jose State and Cornell University, where he earned a doctorate in materials science.

Rotary Speaker Details Life in China

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May 232018
 

Capital Rotarians were briefed on life in China when former club member Qing Wang was May 23rd’s weekly guest speaker.  Wang – now a member of Five Points Rotary – is a Chinese citizen living and working in the US.  She prefaced her remarks by noting that although she still has friends and family living in China, it’s been four years since her last visit.  In that time, she said, there has been rapid economic development along with changes in what she called the key elements of daily living – food, housing, transportation/commuting, shopping and education.  She also noted that China’s population of 1.4 billion is not evenly distributed throughout the country, but heavily concentrated on its east coast and in approximately 15 megacities cities, each with a population in excess of 10 million.  Wang is a bridge engineer with the SC Department of Transportation.  She has a structural engineering doctorate from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and earned undergraduate degrees from China’s Beijing City University and Yanshan University.

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